Zip, the World’s Greatest Robot

Tiny Seed. Sept. 2020. 22p. Board $7.95. ISBN 9781800360013.
PreS-Gr 1–In this board book series opener, Purcell introduces Zip, a genial robot resembling the offspring of R2-D2 and a cartoon bunny. Each page features the same layout: Zip on the left, displaying his mechanical features, and a skeptical white cat on the right, sporting a matching pink dress and purse. The compositional repetition and simple figures—paired with dialogue-only text—lend the board book an attenuated comic strip vibe with each page as a panel. The story also recalls an offering from the funny pages, pleasant and benign: Zip shows off his gadgets and the cat secretly wishes for cookies, and the narrative wraps up with a friendly affirmation. While the simple forms and exuberant robot will engage young kids, the language points to a slightly older audience than the board book format suggests, as words like “retractable” and “fraud” appear with little or no visual support.
VERDICT A mild robot story with cheerful appeal, perhaps better suited to a picture book audience.

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